When you're natural, you get told by everyone that deep conditioning is compulsory. I'm here to tell you that this is true, although I believe many people are fine without it. But if you have course or dry natural hair it may be life-saving.
I have tried so many deep conditioners and I have been very disappointed by a lot of them. But since I started my personal hair notebook. I started noting what works and the reasons why and I think I cracked the code for my hair. Now I'm going to share these with you and hopefully, you can take something from it.
Reasons why your deep conditioner keeps failing you!
Not enough slip
I used to be under the illusion that all deep conditioners had so much slip. Unfortunately, this may only be true for some hair textures. Some deep conditioners do have slip. But a lot of them only serve two purposes. They add moisture to your hair or protein.
I no longer use my deep conditioner to detangle my hair. Instead, I use something like the African Pride Pre-Poo that was made for the slip. By the time I add my deep conditioner, I don't end up having a break down if it doesn't have the worlds best slip. Because my hair is already detangled from the pre-poo.
When I used to a deep condition in my early years of being natural. I had the tendency of neglecting my roots. For some reason, I didn't properly detangle due to a lack of slip so only my ends were detangled and my roots matted.
Then I would mostly apply the deep conditioner to the length of my hair. The end results were that I wasn't probably applying the deep conditioner to my roots which resulted in extreme dryness ad breakage at the root. This was terrible for my length retention. Make sure you give your hair conditioner from root to end!
If you have low porosity hair, this will only apply to you. I wasn't leaving the deep conditioner long enough! I simply read 5-10 minutes and I would do that. This meant that the deep conditioner never had the chance to penetrate my hair strands.
Of course, this will not apply if you have high porosity hair. But play around with how long you keep it in for and find out what works for you.
Now I deep condition under a hooded dryer for a minimum of 30 minutes. The results have been dramatic. By using heat, this gently opens up my cuticle allowing the ingredients to penetrate. Resulting in soft and moisturised hair. Even after rinsing out the conditioner.
Dry hair or Wet Hair
I would always deep condition straight after my shampoo or my rinse out conditioner. But one day, I suddenly found myself very busy and ended up sleeping without any product on my hair after I shampooed. I thought I would wake up to world devastating matted hair. But to my surprise it was okay.
I then applied my deep conditioner and it absorbed so well. My hair already felt soft through the application (although not completely detangled). Once I sat under my hooded dryer for 40 mins. I noticed an extreme difference between deep conditioning with soaking wet hair vs on dry hair.
Deep conditioning with dry hair can actually help your deep conditioner absorb better especially if you're in desperate need of moisture.